The Name of the Lord is worthy to be praised and we MUST cherish it as we sing “I will cherish the Old Rugged Cross”. Blessings brethren and let the grace of God flows in your hearts.
Turn with me for our Scripture reading from the Book Proverbs 18:23-24 and see what the Lord will reveal to you this morning.
23 The poor useth entreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
24 A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Verse 23 – Proverbs addresses many relationship issues, among these: how most poor people approach things, as opposed to how some rich people would respond in those circumstances. If a poor man needs something from a rich man, he does so in a nice way, pleading earnestly. If he were to demand or raise his voice he would stand a chance of being denied. A man whose only recourse is to appeal to the compassion of others is desperate. He has nothing to offer, nothing to give him dignity. His situation has robbed him of confidence and shattered his pride. Most rich people are at ease, and they do not know what it is like to be humbled by desperation. Since they have money and power, they feel that they can get away with answering roughly or unkindly. They believe that their position entitles them to have an unpleasant attitude whenever they feel like it.
Christians are in the world, but not of the world. “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14-17). We are called to a higher way; to love all men (1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Love is courteous, no matter what our position or another’s position is. If God has promoted us to positions of influence or given us wealth, we must not think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Impolite answers are demeaning. We must retain a basic respect for all people because they are made in God’s image and Christ loves and died for each one of them.
Verse 24 – A man who is friendly with the whole world does not make a good friend. He can only be everyone’s friend by either having no convictions or by having only superficial friendships. The Bible warns us to choose our friends carefully because they will influence us. We should not choose as a friend, someone who is “everyone’s friend,” a wicked person, or someone who worships other gods (Deuteronomy 13:6-8). Those who are close to us; whether family or friends are in a position to influence us, often without saying anything. Consciously or unconsciously, we all want to imitate those we love and admire. This is why we must choose our friends carefully.
There is a friend that “sticks closer than a brother.” That friend is Jesus. If we commit ourselves to God, He can lead us to Christian brothers and sisters who will be true friends to us. Best of all, we can rest in the assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus is the Friend and Brother who never fails. He is always with us to help and guide us (Hebrews 13:5).
Let us pray
Dear heavenly Father, I am thankful for Your love and friendship. Truly, You are that friend that sticks closer than a brother. You are always there for us. Father, help me to be a good friend to those whom You have joined me in friendship. I always want to be a loving, kind and faithful friend. I need Your kind of love to do this. Fill me with Your Spirit today so that I will be a blessing to all that I meet. Lord, may I not answer people in a rough manner. Help me to always be kind and patient in my dealings with people everywhere as a witness of Your love. Also, Lord, thank you for all the wonderful friends You have given me. Bless each of them today. I ask this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
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